Happy Monday! Yes, it’s actually Monday. We know how hard it can be to keep track of time these days, but be assured, the clock still ticks on and the world of mobility rumbles forward. The U.S. is facing a potential collapse of used car prices, rideshare providers around the world are stepping up to transport critical workers and supplies, and global companies are still raising money despite the pandemic. And in fundraising news, China’s Didi Bike just raised a fresh $1 billion, proving that even in this challenging environment there’s still money for good mobility businesses.
CoMotion LIVE: Join us Wednesday at 10 AM Pacific for the next edition of CoMotion LIVE, where we’ll tackle the pressing question: Is Sharing Dead? What Micromobility 2.0 Will Look Like in Post-COVID Cities.
We’ve lined up micromobility’s top minds, to bring an array of experiences and opinions to discuss the future of this rapidly evolving industry:
- Euwyn Poon, President & Co-Founder of Spin, whose scooters are still plying the streets to serve essential workers
- Dmitry Shevelenko, Co-Founder & President of Tortoise, whose autonomous scooters could be a taste of micromobility’s future
- Janelle Wang, CEO of Acton, which has worked with scooter operators across the globe
- Joshua Schank, Chief Innovation Officer of LA Metro, an agency at the forefront of scaling bikes and scooters from both the public and private sectors
Episode 62. Greg Lindsay sits down with Ivo Cré, Director of Policy and Projects at Polis, to talk about how the pandemic is changing the face of mobility in cities, and how those areas are adapting to this new way of life. Greg also chats with Jonah Bliss to discuss how the world is already thinking about reopening global economies, and how the auto industry is having, and will continue to have, serious financial woes. Listen here.
A billion for biking: Chinese ride hailing giant Didi Chuxing is aiming to have 100 million transactions a day by 2022, across ride sharing, bike sharing, food delivery and more. Investors like those seemingly pandemic-proof numbers, allowing the company to raise a fresh $1 billion+ for its bike sharing division, Didi Bike.
Wunderbar! With plans stretching back to German reunification, even coronavirus can’t stop Berlin’s extension of the U5 subway. The 2.2 km addition is set to open later this year, bridging a major gap between rail lines.
Asia’s air gets a bit cleaner: French automaker Renault will no longer be making or offering gasoline-powered cars in China. The company is instead focusing on developing and selling electric vehicles in China, and eventually bringing those EVs to Europe as well. Here’s hoping $20/barrel crude won’t derail these plans…
COVID-caused car collapse: Already dealing with production pauses and stifled demand for new cars, the American auto industry fears a new dilemma: a used-car price collapse. With auctions stalled, inventories are piling up; and as prices drop, current leases won’t represent the future value of a car.
Money in the time of corona: Kargo, a Jakarta-based logistics startup which acts as a B2B for logistics and trucking, co-founded by ex-Uber Asia executive Tiger Fang, just raised $31M to expand and help Southeast Asian firms fight COVID-19.
A helping hand: Lyft has launched a new service, Essential Deliveries, to meet the needs of health care, government, and non-profit organizations during the pandemic. The opt-in service will see drivers delivering everything from groceries to medical supplies — contact-free.
Ramping back up: While U.S. automaking is still stalled, production is beginning to resume around the world. Factories have already been running in China for weeks, and now Europe is seeing Hyundai, Daimler and Audi plants reopen in Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
Free falling fuel: As Americans continue to stay home, gasoline consumption has fallen to the lowest level on record. Gas station operators can buy petrol at the rock bottom price of 12¢/gallon in places like Fargo and Milwaukee, but with no customers, inventories are piling up.
Ola offers assistance: In India, domestic ridesharing giant Ola is stepping up in the fight against the pandemic. The firm is offering its platform to public authorities at no cost: Ola’s tech can can do more than summon cars – it can manage crowds and offer real time tracking/navigation.
A Gigafactory of its own: Chinese autonomous vehicle startup AutoX has launched an 80,000 square foot RoboTaxi Operations Center in Shanghai, the largest AV operations hub in Asia. AutoX got approval to launch 100 self-driving ride-hailing cars in the Jiading district.
Startup suit settled: Tesla agreed to settle a lawsuit against Zoox over trade secrets. Surprisingly, this isn’t about dueling AV tech… Tesla claimed a former employee absconded with proprietary information about its warehousing, logistics, and inventory control operations, and gave the juicy secrets to Foster City-based Zoox.
Mobility Trends Reports: Apple used its Maps data to chart how mobility has been affected by coronavirus across different modes in cities around the globe. Take a look and see how different governmental responses to the pandemic are driving divergent impacts on mobility.
Sweep helps save small businesses: in an effort to keep small businesses afloat during these tough times, scooter management company Sweep is financially supporting San Diego’s COVID-19 small business relief fund. Fundraising site GoFundMe is contributing money directly as well, instead of simply being a middleman for fund collection.
Great branding! Lime is reactivating small fleets in select cities to provide rides to frontline workers — for free. Dubbed Lime Aid, the effort will offer free 30-minute rides for public health workers and law enforcement. Pass that Lime Aid, please!
Bikes bounce back? John Burke, president of American biking giant Trek, hasn’t seen his company through a situation as bad as the coronavirus crisis, yet he’s still optimistic that cycling will thrive. After all, the pandemic is showing people that the bicycle is an essential form of mobility. Oh yes.
Read all about it! Calls for open streets for walking and biking during the COVID lockdowns grew louder in numerous publications and organizations from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, NACTO, Streets for All, Greater Greater Washington, The Guardian, CBC, and the European Public Health Alliance.
The next Oakland: on the heels of De Blasio’s reversal of his open streets pilot, the New York City’s City Council looked to pass a bill requiring 75 miles of open streets to help residents access vital goods and services and maintain well-being while keeping physical distance.
Open streets watch: National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) launched a tracker monitoring transportation actions of cities worldwide.
Don’t overthink it: a prominent urban planner laid out the various rapid and low cost ways to successfully open up streets for people and bicycles.
Help scooters happen: basic changes to city regulatory framework would enable micromobility to provide excellent “road geometry” and fix our broken transportation system.
Built to last: seeing as the average scooter isn’t the most durable, or sustainably manufactured, Bird created its Bird Two to be the long-lasting shared scooter the micromobility industry needs.
Community boost: Boosted fans and customers rally online to help each other with maintenance advice, and even service, after massive layoffs debilitate the popular electric skateboard company.
CityLab, asking if cities should start subsidizing shared scooter operators.
The New York Times, explaining how “charger deserts” in certain cities keep electric cars from the mainstream.
Rocky Mountain Institute, taking a look at coronavirus and the fragility of auto-centric cities.
SmartCitiesDive, stating that a ‘different world’ awaits transit on the other side of coronavirus.
StreetsblogUSA, laying out how we could never truly afford America’s highways — even before COVID-19.
Bloomberg, diving into how the future of post-virus transit is going to actually be more cars and few trains.
GovTech, sharing how robots are emerging as useful tools in the fight against coronavirus.
Startups & Corporate
Data Analytics Manager | Spin | San Francisco, CA
Executive Assistant | Spin | San Francisco, CA
Senior Data Analyst | Dott | Amsterdam
Senior Infrastructure Engineer | Platform Science | San Diego, CA
Senior Mechanical Design Engineer | Levy Electric | New York City
UX/UI Designer | Swoop | Los Angeles, CA
Risk Manager | Via | New York
Civic & Nonprofit
Digital Business Analyst | Community Transit | Everett, WA
Bridge Engineer 5 In-Training – Senior Lead Inspector | Dept. of Transportation | Tumwater, WA
Sustainability Planner | Oregon DOT Climate Office | Salem, OR
Have a job listing that’s perfect for the CoMotion community? Please send it to Jim Manning.
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